Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Painting Workshops at Marlborough College Summer School

If you are interested in learning how to capture atmosphere in your landscapes or how to paint birds, these classes are for you!  Links for more information below.

24th July - 4th August 2017

I feel so excited to be giving these classes at Marlborough College Summer school in Wiltshire.  It is such a beautiful place with many wonderful facilities to enjoy when not in class.  Please do take a look!   

Wicken Fen from East Mere hide 84 x 127 cm Oil/Linen

Bewick's Wren 30 x 30 cm oil/panel

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Postcard Sale and Giveaway!

Hello All,  I am hoping our summer has not come and gone.  It's so lovely when the sun shines, but as I write, it is chucking it down outside!  We did need some rain but I think it can stop now!

So happy today as my husband, Barry McCuan arrives tomorrow.  It has been 9 months since we saw each other.  It's not easy being apart.  He has to keep everything going over in New Mexico whilst I am stuck here not being able to do much other than care for my Aunt and my dog, but I do get lots of work done!  No travelling about for me these days, which of course I really miss.  

I have been painting a lot of little postcard size paintings, often when out painting en plein air, or at the end of the day when I don't want to stop but don't have time to work on a larger piece.  To celebrate the arrival of Barry, I am having a big sale on my website. They are unframed and really quite lovely if I may say so myself!  Please feel free to share my shop.  I am also having my first ever GIVEAWAY.  To enter this GIVEAWAY, you need to comment, share or tag someone else on my blog, Instagram or Facebook page.  I love receiving your comments and thank you for participating.  

After Barry arrives and gets over jet lag, we will be drawing two names out of a hat.  The winner will receive one of my postcard paintings and the runner up with receive an etching.  

Also, don't forget I am teaching some painting classes at Marlborough College Summer School from 24rd July to 4th August.  This is such a wonderful place to take a class and I still have some spaces left.  I am so excited!  Here are links to both my classes Landscape class and Painting birds.

Postcard 15  6 x 6 in/15 x 15 cm  Oil on Ampersand Panel

In addition my work is now hanging at Byard Art, Cambridge.  Below, some of my work.

Finally here is a lovely late spring photograph of Diva in the buttercups!

Cheerio for now and don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! x

Diva in the buttercups.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Time flies...

Hello everyone....

What happened?

Well, life took over.

I realised that I hadn't posted for a long time but hadn't realised that it was that long ago! My studio is now full of art stuff and to be honest, needs a good sorting out.  I still don't have shelves or proper electricity, but I am managing!

I seem to be busier than ever these days, as I am also a full on carer for my Aunt, who broke her collarbone in February.  That has made a huge difference to both of us and for a while, she was unable to walk.  She is much better now, but I needed help, which I now have (at great cost!).  Caring is certainly not for the faint hearted and some days I feel very 'faint hearted'.

This is a short post just to say I am still alive and kicking, painting and printmaking.  At the moment I working on pieces for an 'Along your street' exhibition at Byard Art, Cambridge which begins on 2nd June.

I am also teaching landscape and bird oil painting classes at the wonderful Marlborough College Summer School from 24th July to 4th August.  I am very excited about this.  It will be hard work, but also a lovely break for me.  If you are interested, click on this link and it will take you to the Marlborough College website.

Here is something I have been working on lately just to bring you some sunshine.
April Fields 12 x 24 cm oil

Oh, and before I go, I have to introduce you to my newish friend, Diva.  She has been my saviour this last year.  She will be two on 9th June.  She is just marvellous!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

My best ever Christmas present arrived this week, in the form of a finished studio!  I am so happy and can't wait to get in there and start painting.  Today I have been hauling tables and canvases and cabinets into the space and wondering where to put everything.  I am hoping to get some shelves built at some point, but that will have to wait.  I just want to get back to painting!  

Thanks to my lovely Aunt Agnes, who made it possible to have this beautiful studio built in our garden.  I think it's time to get that space filled with a bit more colour!  

Meanwhile it has been super busy in the print room with everyone trying to finish up their projects before the end of the semester. There is such a great atmosphere in the Cambridge School of Art print room... I love it.. in case you hadn't realised already!

Whilst waiting for my studio to be finished, I have been playing with a bit of acrylic paint and gold leaf.  I love messing around, and it makes me feel a little more Christmassy.  I rather like these..  

I have also been working on a new drypoint, continuing on from my plant series. 

This time snowdrops are the order of the day... it won't be long before they start showing their beautiful white flowers, but since we already have daffodils and narcissus blooming in the garden, I think the snowdrops might feel rather confused.  It has been far too warm this winter.. and the rain.. oh the rain.  I feel so badly for those living in Cumbria.  

Well, that's it for another year, so I shall wish you all a Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year!  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Phew! All done for now.

Yesterday, I helped hang my work at the Angela Mellor Gallery in Ely near Cambridge.  I think it looks good.  I do feel as if I have been a little like a hamster in the proverbial wheel this last couple of years, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

All I have to do now is price up all my prints, of which there are rather a lot.  They are a culmination of three years work, with little time to get them all wrapped up.  It is really fun to look back at all the different prints and techniques employed.  I am really rather fond of some of them, especially the ones where I managed to register three plates with different colours on one print!

I was so happy to hear that two of my pieces at the Albuquerque Museum miniature exhibition have already sold and one from my gallery in Boston, Newbury Fine Arts, so finally things are starting to move again.  I have also sent the two small paintings below to the 'On a small scale' Christmas exhibition at the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh.

On the road to Peebles 15 x 21 cm Oil
Snow above Lindsaylands 15 x 21 cm Oil
This weekend is my birthday and I have treated myself to a two workshop with Katherine Jones at Rabley Drawing Centre .  I have never quite managed to experiment with collagraph and block printing, so I am very excited.  I am sure there will be photos!

Then the following weekend I will be at the Angela Mellor Gallery to celebrate, so if you are near Ely on the 5th December, do pop in!

Until next time....

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Albuquerque Museum - Miniatures & More 2015

It's the 25th anniversary of this prestigious fundraiser for the Albuquerque Museum.    During those twenty five years, I have been invited to submit my paintings at least twelve times.    I am proud to announce that this year I was once again invited to be part of this exhibition.  There is a gala opening on Saturday and then on Sunday it opens to the public.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A weekend's break

I nipped down to Somerset, Bristol and Gloucestershire last weekend.  First of all, to see my eldest daughter, Holly, (always lovely), then to attend the opening of the Royal West of England Academy open exhibition in Bristol.   One of my drawings was accepted and considering the huge competition, I was grateful to get at least one of my pieces in!  

Whilst staying with my daughter, I took the opportunity to peak out of the window early on Friday morning and saw what promised to be an amazing sun rise.  Off I went, in my pjs (which don't really look like pjs, a coat and some shoes!) and proceeded to spent the next two hours photographing.  What a glorious morning.  

I have just finished another painting for my show at the Angela Mellor Gallery in Ely, so I am getting there, slowly, but starting to feel the pressure now!  

Oh, and I forgot to mention, my studio is finally here... almost.

I hope you are all well and enjoy my latest painting and photographs.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Drawings - Royal West of England Academy Annual Open Exhibition.

I have just arrived home having delivered my two drawings, Pond Petals ii and iii which I am thrilled to say, got through to the second round of the Royal West of England Academy Annual Open exhibition.  I posted them earlier in the summer because I created them for my show at the Open Eye Gallery.  Fingers crossed I get through to the next round and obviously I am hoping my pieces will be hung and sold!

I had to deliver them to Birmingham where there was a man with a lorry waiting to collect all the submissions.  It's quite scary handing over your work when you have spent hours and hours creating it and spent no small amount on the framing. 

I had never driven in Birmingham before and it's a little like driving in a very mini Dallas or LA.  Cities are always confusing when you don't have a clue where you are going and I had to do a few U-turns as I searched for the appropriate exit!!  Thank goodness for my trusty iPhone.  Without it I would probably have ended up in Fishguard (Wales), which actually would have been rather nice.  

Here are my drawings and a couple of photos taken on my return, through the lovely Leicestershire countryside. 

Pond Petals ii - Graphite 15 x 25 cm
Pond Petals ii - Graphite 15 x 25 cm

Did I show you my painting of Eddie...?   I don't think so.  As you know I look after him from time to time and Barry and I like to take him to the beach.  He is so handsome.  When I get my own dog, I shall do some more I think.  It's good to do something different from time to time.  Bye for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thanks for all your help!

I often wake up very early these days and instead of leaping out of bed to get in front of my easel or go for a rare run, I seem to lie there and do a lot of thinking, (maybe it’s my age!).  This morning, I realised that for the first time in eighteen months, I actually don’t have any of those depressing dark clouds hanging over my head.   

When I look back to when I first returned to the UK in 2009 to be with my Dad during the first bout of his serious illness, I realised not only how much I have had to deal with, but how much I have also achieved! 

During the five years that my Dad fought his illness and spent many weeks in hospital and at home recovering, I managed to create a makeshift studio in his home, then when Dad improved, I relocated my studio up to Scotland, and painted for a group show in London and taught a workshop.  I applied, got in and completed my MA in Printmaking, which frankly, has been a lifeline, thanks to the wonderful print room, and tutors and technicians and students at Cambridge School of Art.  During this time, we as a group of printmakers put on various exhibits and I got my prints into the Bite exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  Whilst working on my MA (which included writing!), I also continued to paint for my galleries and various museum invitationals.  

After Dad died I discovered an underground water leak that had been slowly leaking under the driveway and who knows where else.  This just about brought me to my knees but I managed to stay standing.   It took six months to sort out, involving multiple phone calls, letters and holes left in the driveway. Thanks to the lady at the insurance company who fought my case, I got it fixed, two days before my MA exhibition! 

In addition, I made a couple of trips back to New Mexico and got to paint in my studio for a few months, which was lovely... a normal studio with space!  After returning to the UK last November, for the Society of Scottish Artists exhibition, I then had to sort out my dear Aunt Agnes’s bungalow because she had decided to come and live with me in my Dad’s house.  My Aunt had lived in her bungalow since 1959, so I will leave how much clearing out had to be done to your imagination!  I painted one room and threw out a 'fair' amount of ‘stuff’ and had to move half my studio that I had cleared out from Scotland, back into Dad’s house…. anyone exhausted yet?  We had a deadline to meet on the sale of her bungalow to pay off a loan that my Dad had taken out on his house and I wouldn’t wish that kind of stress on anyone.  

I confess, I have felt very sorry for myself at times and wished on many occasions that I had been part of a larger family!!  However, I am so fortunate to have a wonderful husband, some amazing friends and three lovely children who have supported me tirelessly throughout these last five years.  So many played their part and I want to pass on my heartfelt thanks to them for all their incredible support.

My husband, Barry McCuan has been so kind and understanding.  It’s not easy to be apart for so long, but he has been there at the really difficult times.   His help with packing, moving and helping me with my exhibitions this last two summers whilst trying to do his own work for his exhibitions at Ventana Fine Art has been just incredible.  Thanks to my two lovely and long term friends who gave me a bed to lie in during my long stays in Scotland and Cambridge.  Newer friends in Cambridge have been incredible in so many ways that have gone way beyond what one could expect from such new friends. Thank you to those who drove miles to be with me at my Dad’s funeral and my MA show… knowing that some had come many many miles after attending a funeral made it all the more poignant. Thanks to Eddie’s Mummy who has let me borrow him to satisfy my need for the companion of a dog.  I also want to thank my friend, who has managed to get me commission work, and to friends and family... yes, family!, who have bought paintings from me, keeping the wolf from the door, and those of you who provide lovely food, a social life and a bed during my stays in London and in Cornwall.  Last but not least, to my amazing children who come to my exhibitions and were incredible after their Grandpa died.

I am now painting for an exhibition in Ely, near Cambridge at the end of this year and actively looking for new galleries as many of my galleries have now closed and I have so much more time to paint!  My new studio will be arriving soon and I have been busy clearing away a section of the garden to make room for it.  I am so excited.  In the meantime, here are some of my latest paintings heading for the Albuquerque Museum Invitational this autumn.

Happy painting!

Summer Clouds, Summer Fields,  Oil, 30 x 30 cm 

Golden Sky, Golden Fields, Oil, 30 x 30 cm

The Spire and the Wheatfield, Oil, 30 x 30 cm

Friday, July 17, 2015

By the seaside.

Barry and I are down in Kingsgate, near Margate, Kent for a few days.  Staying with our friend Jim enables us to paint some of the gorgeous places down here.  It's good to get back to painting for sure!  I know you have seen some photos from this area before.  It is really one of my most favourite places. 

Today, since it was very windy, we took a break and went to see the Grayson Perry exhibit at Turner Contemporary.  Wow, how amazing he is.  I loved his ceramics... so contemporary yet referencing historical subjects, art and traditions.  My BA is in ceramics but I haven't really touched clay for years.  I found myself wanting to have another go.  His pots are classically shaped, handmade (coiled) with wonderful surfaces covered in multiple colours, drawings, photographs and advertisements from various eras and locations often relating to his childhood.  The surfaces are paintings in themselves.  I am also in awe of his etchings... goodness me!  They are incredible.  I know what it takes to make an etching like these and I am IMPRESSED!  

Here is an interesting article regarding one of the etchings that was in the exhibition.  You never get tired of looking at them but I wished I owned one so I could sit down and really spend time examining them closely.  

Early this morning before it became really windy, we were out painting on Botany Bay.  How I love this place!  I feel that I am just getting to grips with painting again and my strokes are freer and often thicker.  Well, we will see what happens!
My special rocks on Botany Bay

Me, trying to decide where to paint.

One of my studies

Obviously the beach is the place to go for an early morning dog walk and natter!
Barry getting started

Me, holding down everything as the wind whistled by!
Last night wasn't so sunny, but I just had to get out and paint.